Thursday, April 14, 2011

Further Up and Further In

I am so jealous! When my film was in DWF, the winners got a statue by John Berry, which is friggin' cool. More cool was being in Mark V. Olsen and Will Sheffer's office on Big Love, pointing to their statue and saying, "I have one of those."

Then Canon USA came on as a sponsor and we started giving away top-of-the-line cameras along with the statues. Where's my camera? Just announced today, CAA has come on as a sponsor. I don't think they are doing anything fancy, like offering a career to the winners, but still, where were they when I won? Can I get a meeting?

You guys are so lucky!

Not so lucky are filmmakers who lie to us.

Folks, we have access to the internet, you know. We know how to use Google. If you tell us you've never screened in Los Angeles or California, or wherever, and we find you listed in other festival programs, you're toast! What are you thinking? We often take films that have screened elsewhere – though, admittedly, we're starting to toughen-up on that count – but we never take movies from people who lie to us. Period. DWF is very proud of our alumni. We feel like we're building a family, and in a family, you don't lie to Mamma. Got it?

This year's slate is forming up. We haven't made any hard decisions yet, but I can tell you the Jello is jigglin'. I shouldn't admit this, but most years there are one or two films that standout where each of us programmers think, "Yeah, one of those is probably going to win." We usually don't say it out loud; that would be bad form. Not that it matters, none of us are judges and we love all the films that are in the festival. This year, though, the field is truly even. The quality is high, as usual, but no one film is leaping up above the others. It's going to be a scrap right down to the final buzzer.

Okay, so the NBA playoffs start this weekend and I'm a Lakers fan, so sorry for all the basketball references.

But, as co-founder Michael Trent always says, we're not about the competition. When you can put Dances With Films on your resume, you're already a winner. I promise no one will ever ask, "Were you in competition? Did you win?" I always think of it like competing in pinball. You don't care how good the other guy does, you just want to play your best. The rest is up to gravity.

So good luck to everyone. You're all still in the running – well, unless, you know, as mentioned above. We will be in touch one way or the other, and I'll still be blogging, so:

Thanks for reading.


Joe said...

Wow... my first time attending DWF was back in 2004 when I acted in a short out of NYU... It's been pretty awesome to see first hand how much growth has happened from the Laemmle's Monica 4-plex, to the New Beverly, to the Laemmle Sunset 5. What a ride you guys have been on. It's been great to watch.

ARD1980 said...

Will you guys be notifying everyone on Wednesday or is that a WAB estimate?

RSMellette said...

That would be a WAB wild guess. I still have 10 features to watch and more at the office - and that's just me. I can't say exactly when we'll notify everyone because things change on an individual basis - but I can say that we will notify everyone one way or the other.

Oh, and thanks for the good words, Joe. You should get your 2-Minute 2-Step entry in. We take 50% alumni for that contest.

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